ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ANSI Announces the Standards That Make a Difference Survey

Online Survey Focuses on Importance of Standards

New York, Jun 14, 2002

The American Standards National Institute (ANSI) announced today the launch of Standards That Make a Difference, an online survey that allows ANSI's members and constituents the opportunity to single out a standard or family of standards they believe to be "most valuable" and identify how these standards relate to business or consumer issues.

"Standards, especially those that are globally relevant, have a tremendous effect on the lives of millions of people around the world," states Dr. Mark Hurwitz, president of ANSI. "They play a major role in many aspects of our daily lives-from decisions consumers make when purchasing products for their homes, to broader societal issues such as how we preserve the environment; from the competitive concerns of business in a global marketplace, to the government's role in protecting the public interest."

Highlighting those standards that significantly benefit consumers or business offers participating members and organizations the opportunity to voice their opinion, but more importantly, acts as a vehicle to bring additional awareness and publicity of the important work being done by the standards community. "Participation in this survey from ANSI's members and constituents will not only showcase the importance of standards, but the diverse opinions of survey participants will simply reflect the necessity of standards in every aspect of our lives," continues Hurwitz.

The necessity for standards in daily life can be found in existing safety and health standards, which, because of their importance to the public, ANSI and the voluntary standards system have always given high priority. For example, standards for goggles and other eye and face protections help safeguard industrial workers and technical students against job hazards. Additional examples show us that we ride safely in elevators, thanks to the widespread use of standard specifications for elevator construction, installation, testing, inspection, maintenance, and repair; and our eyeglasses and contact lenses are of higher quality when optical laboratories follow requirements and test methods in voluntary national standards.

Standards selected for entry into Standards That Make a Difference may be American National Standards, standards developed by the ISO, IEC or from other domestic, regional or international bodies. ANSI may use the information in its efforts towards general public awareness about the standards community.

To participate, please log on to www.ansi.org/public/survey.asp or follow the links from the home page to the Standards that Make a Difference survey. As a token of ANSI's appreciation of your participation, every completed form will also serve as an entry into a random drawing for a prize valued at over $300. The drawing will be held during ANSI's Annual Conference, October 15-16, in Washington, D.C. Deadline for submission is September 15, 2002. Entries will be published on ANSI Online.

Sample entry for Standards That Make a Difference:

Standard Title:
ANSI/Z80.3 - Nonprescription Sunglasses and Fashion Eyewear-Requirements

Why does this standard make a difference?
Since many people buy non-prescription or "fashion" eyewear without consulting eye care professionals, the existence of this standard is a necessity to protecting the eyesight of consumers. Z80.3 makes a difference because it focuses on consumer safety, and ultimately the health and well-being of the consumer, by specifying the criteria for aspects of quality that the consumer would not be able to assess on their own. An example is that consumers are not always fully aware what the sunglasses' protection from ultraviolet radiation is, and that the necessary level of this protection depends on how the sunglasses are used (normal use or prolonged use). In response, the Z80.3 states that lenses are to be classified for intended function such as special, dark, general purpose or cosmetic tint, and the combination of the intended function and the type of use gives a total of eight UV transmittance specifications.

Additional safety issues covered by the Z80.3 that regular consumers wouldn't normally think of include traffic signal recognition (e.g., being able to distinguish between red, green and yellow light in average daylight), cosmetic quality (eliminating cracks or bubbles in the plastic), refractive power (does the lens really have no power) and durability tests (including flame resistance).

While Z80.3 contains no specific labeling requirements, manufacturers will label their product with a sticker or tag that states compliance with the ANSI standard. Essentially, this does the research for the consumer, as the Z80.3 is the standard to which manufactures comply.

Rules and regulations:
All submissions must be received by September 15, 2002. Entries submitted after this date will not be eligible for the prize drawing. Multiple entries are accepted, but must be submitted separately. ANSI reserves the right to reject any entry that does not reference a currently valid standard. Submissions are published at ANSI's discretion and are subject to editing for space and clarity. ANSI employees and family members are invited to submit entries, but are not eligible to win the prize and will not be entered into the random drawing.

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